Samuel Case, FISM News
A local teachers union is defying the Florida Department of Education’s recommendation to ignore President Joe Biden’s expansion of Title IX to include gender identity.
Last month, Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said including gender identity in Title IX would “vastly expand the application” of the 50-year-old federal law, per the Miami Herald.
Lawmakers originally enacted Title IX with the intention of ending sex-based discrimination in schools.
Under the most recent updates from the U.S. Department of Education Title IX guidelines, schools are “not to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Diaz sent letters to school administrators requesting schools to ignore the Title IX expansion, saying the guidance updates “are not binding law, do not create any new legal obligations, and should not be treated as governing law.”
Diaz pointed out on Twitter the anti-scientific beliefs that the teachers’ union is supported.
Last I checked, men cannot give birth.
Erasing the definition of a woman is anti-science & only harms the special relationship between a mother & her child.
We will not allow the Biden Teacher Union to force their radical agenda on Florida students. https://t.co/TSrH6bhXAQ
— Manny Diaz Jr. (@SenMannyDiazJr) July 8, 2022
However, the Post Millennial reports, the Clay County Education Association, backed by the National Education Association – which actively supported President Biden’s campaign – has issued a memo signaling its intention to ignore Diaz’s directive.
The union memo, titled “Parental Bill of Rights aka Don’t Say Gay Law,” which aims to work around Florida law says: “Certain politicians are attacking LGBTQ students and staff to divide communities and to divert attention away from Florida being near the bottom in the nation in school funding and educator salaries. But we will not lose focus on making sure that every student feels safe, welcome, respected, and loved while at school — no matter their race, income, ZIP code, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Together, we will make sure that every student in Florida attends a school that is worthy of them.”
The union goes on to direct union members to ignore Diaz, saying, “From what we know right now, you can continue with the same practices and procedures you used last year unless given a directive to do otherwise.”
The union defends its actions by citing the Biden administration’s interpretation of both Title IX and and the Civil Rights Act, also known as Title VII.
“Federal law trumps state law,” the memo reads, “As such public school employees are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against employees based on numerous characteristics, including sex, inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation.”
“Title IX,” the union continues, “also protects students from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and protects students and educators from retaliation for complaining about such discrimination or harassment. That means schools cannot discriminate against students by, for example, prohibiting access to extracurricular activities, school sports, bathrooms and applying dress codes consistent with a student’s gender identity.”
In his directive, Diaz noted the Biden administration’s Title IX guidance does not require schools “to give biological males who identify as female access to female bathrooms, locker rooms, or dorms; to assign biological males who identify as female to female rooms on school field trips’ or to allow biological males who identify as female to compete on female sports teams.”
Diaz said following the administration’s directive would “jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of Florida students and risk violating Florida law.”